Three Ways Companies are "Going Green" in the Workplace
From big picture design elements to smaller details, employers are finding innovative ways to incorporate sustainability into the everyday workplace experience. Investing in green initiatives is not just a gimmick to satisfy a fleeting trend, there is evidence employees are actually happier and healthier in workplaces that make sustainability a priority. For a company considering a renovation or relocation, these three elements of sustainability are sure to be relevant to their search. Consideration for environmental, social, and economic sustainability means that a company is self-aware of its impact on the places and people it touches. Awareness of impact can lead to more mindful solutions that translate into a happier and healthier workplace.
If you are interested in a big picture innovation that will connect your workplace with nature, consider biophilic design. The term describes the incorporation of plants and other natural elements like water and light into indoor space that mimics outdoor environments. Growing interest in biophilic design has resulted in several high profile office projects incorporating it at every level of the design process, resulting in beautiful spaces filled with light and greenery. While global companies with luxurious modern offices have found large-scale ways to incorporate biophilic design, but it doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective. Potted plants and modest water features can be smaller, cost effective solutions to bring elements of nature into a dreary office.
LEED Certified Buildings
Companies that are considering relocation might be interested in narrowing their search to a building that is LEED certified. The Green Building Council (USGBC) certifies buildings based on factors ranging from energy efficiency, construction materials, and indoor environmental quality. LEED Certified Offices are becoming more common as employers are finding that the quality of the buildings really makes a difference for the health and happiness of their employees. A recent study from the USGBC found that employees who work in LEED-certified green buildings are happier, healthier, and more productive than employees in conventional and non-LEED buildings. The study also revealed that 80% of respondents say that being productive on the job and having access to clean, high-quality indoor air contributes to their overall workplace happiness.
Location, Location, Location
Relocation to a LEED-certified building is a great way to boost employee health and happiness, but employers should also look at how their geographical location is impacting their efforts for greater sustainability. Many suburban office parks are too far from transit and residences for employees to walk or ride to work and require almost every individual employee to drive. The impacts of vehicular travel are well known to have negative impacts on environmental quality, and the individual health impact of sitting in traffic can cause higher levels of stress and obesity. Locating your office in a mixed-use area with opportunities to live and work in a walkable or transit-accessible location can lessen your company’s impact on the local environment and create opportunities for employees to maintain a greater work-life balance and higher quality of life!
Formcraft is a Philadelphia-based design and construction firm that specializes in workplaces. To see examples of Formcraft’s work click here, to contact the team today to find out how your workplace can ‘go green’ click here!